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First things first, Kate Fagen has a post up over at Deep Sixer which touches on some of the same themes we've been discussing in the comments here. Her suggestion, change the starting lineup to this:

  • Miller
  • Green
  • Iguodala
  • Thad
  • Brand
I understand the logic to sliding Thad to the 4 (more on this after the jump) and Iguodala to the 3, but here's the thing. Willie Green at the 2 is not the solution.

First, let's use BasketballValue.com to look at how that particular unit has performed. They've played a total of 34.6 minutes together, scored 67 points on 65 possessions, given up 64 points on 62 possessions. Let's extrapolate the numbers to a per/48 basis and compare them to the current starting lineup on the same scale.

Starters With Willie (per 48)

  • 92.94 possessions
  • 90.17 points
  • 88.78 opp. possessions
  • 86.01 opp. points
  • + 4.16 point dif.
Starters With Dalembert (per 48)

  • 90.99 possessions
  • 92.54 points
  • 91.14 opp. possessions
  • 83.55 opp. points
  • + 8.99 point dif.
Clearly, the Sixers are a less-efficient team with Willie on the floor with the rest of the starters. Keep in mind that Willie is also performing way above his career numbers so far this season, so with the best version of Willie we've ever seen, the offense still doesn't perform better with him in their instead of Dalembert. This doesn't sound like a recipe for success to me. This team's problem is scoring at this point, inserting Willie is not going to solve that problem.

More after the jump.

Now, let's see what happens when Iguodala moves around on the court. The chart below shows the team's production when Iguodala plays various positions.

pbyp82games.gif
(This chart is taken directly from 82games.com, please click on the link and check out their site)


At first blush, this chart would tell you that Iguodala has been much better as a shooting guard, but that's not really what's going on. Here is his personal production, by position.

perbyp82games.gif
The real culprit here isn't Iguodala's production at the 2 or 3, it's who plays the 2 when he slides down to the three. Two players are to blame, for the most part, Lou and Willie. The team, as a whole, suffers due to their poor play.

The answer to this team's problems may very well be moving Iguodala back to his natural position at the three, Thad to the four and Brand to center, but that's only if you have a viable starting shooting guard to move into the lineup. A guy who's going to provide enough offense to offset the cost of removing Dalembert's defense. Right now, the offense is less productive with Willie at the 2, and I shudder to think what it will look like when Willie's shooting numbers normalize to his career stats.

The Sixers will finish off their home-and-home with the Bulls at 8:30 p.m. tonight. Need I say this is a game they can, should, maybe must win? Check out Tremendous Upside Potential for Bulls coverage.
by Brian on Dec 2 2008
Tags: Basketball | Bulls | Sixers | Willie Green |